Reading through the other comments on this hill you would be forgiven for having a feeling of trepidation about tackling it! Indeed most who have stumbled around its lower slopes in the dark while completing the 100k Oxfam Trailtrekker will have cursed this sometimes unwelcoming hill as well. It is one that I had been on a few times before, but had never made an attempt on it’s summit until now. Bolstered by three5four0’s encouraging comments, which I took with me, I made my attempt on the summit.
Having concerns about access from the Forkhill House side, I choose to approach the hill from the North. Kitted in old jeans, gaiters and a big stick, I parked up in Forkhill village. This is no hill to tear good walking trousers on and no area to be seen walking around with fancy walking poles! I walked the short distance out the B113 to
, where there is a lane leading up to the hill just before a small bungalow, I followed the track up into the forest. While you are on the hill it is worth taking the short detour onto the unnamed summit that stands at 188, just west of Tievecrom. There are the remnants of the old watchtower that used to watch over this once very troubled area, now claimed by a ragged Armagh flag that looks like its been up there since 2002. The smaller hill is easy to access from the wall along the forest.
I made for
and struck uphill, soon finding the wall three5four0 had mentioned, the corner of it and indeed some grassy slopes. I tackled this on a perfectly dry day and found the ground underfoot to be good. As I saw the edge of the forest coming near I stopped suddenly on hearing voices! If there was one hill where I had expected to be alone, it was this one. I came to edge of the forest at
, there was no sign of an unsteady tree, but what was in front of me were a young couple, happily sliding down through the ferns in their tracksuits and with their dogs. Not MVers, but locals who visited the summit regularly. I asked their advice and they told me to head for the lone green tree sticking out of the rocks. The route between the edge of the forest and this tree was the only part of my walk that involved ferns, bracken or brambles and were fine to negotiate, they may not be so when summer growth kicks in. From the tree you scramble on to the rocks and it is five minutes to summit, watching out for some slippy underfoot conditions in areas where a thin coating of moss lay over rocks.
From the summit I retraced my steps to point
, from here I decided to follow the track back towards the lane along side Forkhill House, out on to the Captains Road, heading west to cross the Kilcurry Road and join the Gullion Way at
. This is a lovely walk which will bring you back into Forkhill. Anyone who follows this route should also take another detour and take in the beautiful old Urney Graveyard. For me I left the car where it was and walked up the road to Crosslieve. Linkback: https://mountainviews.ie/summit/989/comment/6772/